Photo: Steve Eason / Getty / Hulton Archive
The UK was the first country to industrialize, eventually becoming the World’s preeminent power on the back of its factories, mines, and workers.Now, those factories and mines are closing, and those workers aren’t working. In the past 30 years the deindustralization of the country has accelerated rapidly, leaving many people behind.
We’ve assembled some important facts that will show you exactly how the World’s first industrial nation has become the world’s first post-industrial nation — and what this means for the average Brit.
In 1950, in the aftermath of the Second World War, the UK accounted for more than 10% of global exports, yet by 2009 that share had declined to just under 3%.
The UK had been hoping that a manufacturing boom might pull the country out of recession, but industrial production figures unexpectedly slumped this Summer.
Over the past decade, U.K.'s oil and natural gas consumption have remained relatively stable while domestic production of both has declined, making the country a net energy importer.
North Sea oil and gas operators will need to spend more than $47.5 billion ($76 billion) to decommission platforms, pipelines and other infrastructure after resources are depleted.
American investor Jim Rogers has argued that the eventual depletion of the North Sea oil reserves will eventually send the pound crashing.
BAE Systems, Europe's biggest arms manufacturer, announced it was cutting almost 3,000 jobs in the UK this September.
While the Rover brand name still lives on (it's now owned by Indian company Tata), the end of MG Rover left 6,000 workers without jobs at the iconic Longbridge plant near Birmingham, UK. The plant's assets were sold off to Chinese company Nanjing Automobile.
The last deep coal mine in Wales closed in 2008, having effectively run out. 120 miners lost their jobs.
'The fabric of the housing etcetera has deteriorated and many villages in the former coalfields have become like inner city sink estates except they are in semi-rural isolation.'
David Parry, the Coalfield Communities Campaign (BBC, 2004)
When Kraft took over Cadbury's chocolate in 2009, they promised to halt the closure of Somerdale plant.
Last year, the British bought £97 billion ($153 billion) more in goods from other countries than they sold to them.
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